Monday, October 27, 2008

Got a G1, Yay Linux!

So I caved and got a G1. I may write an in-depth review after I've had it longer, or I may not, but here are the highlights:

Rock
  • I can has source!
  • No need to print from Google Maps when I leave the house.
  • Better reception in my house with T-Mobile than I had with AT&T.
  • ConnectBot SSH client works great with my screen+irssi setup.
  • Used ShopSavvy at Sports Authority yesterday to convince Ellery it was worth getting her a shiny new pair of rollerblades. Hold phone up to barcode, see local and online price comparisons.
  • Used Shazam to find out what's playing on the radio. Hold phone up to speaker, wait a few seconds, prompted with all the info you could desire, including a link to download via phone at Amazon MP3 store.
  • Unlock screen shows when my alarm is set to go off.
  • Keyboard surprisingly comfortable to use.
  • Camera image quality decent.
  • Easier than I thought to patch HAL (or just edit .is_audio_player) so that G1 Just Works in Banshee:

G1 in Banshee
Click for larger view, obligatory F-Spot Awesomeness

Suck
  • My thumbs are a bit fat to use on the touch screen (I have somewhat-deformed wide thumbs). So, no one-handed use.
  • No visual voice mail.
  • When interacting with a phone service, like voicemail, and you are prompted to enter digits, I go into freak-out mode, because I look at the screen and it is blank, so I have to unlock, then find the dialer so I can hit a number, which can be kind of tricky depending on how the call started. I can probably flip out the keyboard and use that, but as I said, I'm in a panic.
  • Not sure how to carry this thing. It comes with a sleeve/pouch/thingy, and for now I put it in there and then in my pocket, but now it takes two hands and an extra few seconds to answer my phone. What do people do? I'm used to having a crappy phone that can live in the same pocket as keys and other dangerous items!
  • Camera slow, worthless in low-light situations.

Really looking forward to Tomdroid!

18 comments:

Kevin J Slater said...

ZAGG. Then you can ditch the sleeve and toss it into your pocket with the keys and not worry about scratches.

Anonymous said...

Or just put it in a different pocket than your keys?

Shahms said...

There's a small tab at the bottom of the screen during a phone call that looks like a "5" in a circle. Tap that with your finger and it'll pull out a keypad.

Erica Joy said...

What did you put into .is_audio_player to make it work? I was playing with Banshee on OS X and couldn't get my G1 to show up at all. :(

Sandy said...

@erica_joy: I'm pretty sure Banshee on OS X has no device support yet. Before I made my HAL patch, I got far enough with a .is_audio_player file with the following contents:

audio_folders=Music/

I don't know if HAL is required for that file to work, or some Mac-specific code, or what.

Sandy said...

@erica_joy: Just confirmed with Banshee developers that there is no device support in the current OS X release.

As for .is_audio_player, it is a hack used by Banshee and Rhythmbox to aquire information when HAL does not provide it. So it seems that as soon as there is some code to tell when a device is mounted by OS X, the .is_audio_player file will be read and used by Banshee.

Erica Joy said...

Sweet thanks for the info and update Sandy!

plakboek said...

Coolies! Love to hear your review when you have had it for a bit longer :-)

eleddy said...

the keypad comment. refilling a prescription is nerve wrecking, even though I know how to use it.

recently discovered there are bunches of shortcuts to do things which I would put in the ROCK category. Its always more fun to discover neat little tricks with software.chip

David said...

so I did the HAL patch and my Debian Banshee is not recognizing my Android G1...any ideas?

Sandy said...

@David: Did you restart? That is required. If you need further support, probably best to head here:

http://banshee-project.org/support/forum

David said...

I restarted both Banshee and my G1 to no avail...I am going to try and reboot my server and see what happens but thanks for the link...

also, what flavor of linux are you running in that screen shot? b/c your banshee looks a LOT nicer than the one I am running...

Sandy said...

@David: Yes, you need to restart your computer for the HAL changes to take effect.

I am running openSUSE 11, with the Darkilouche theme, and Banshee from latest SVN.

You should probably make sure you're using Banshee 1.0 or later (preferably 1.2 or later).

David said...

haha...yea, my banshee is like .11 or something...so that's my fail...i'll upgrade and give it a shot...thanks!!

David said...

so I spent all day updating my debian environment so that it could handle banshee 1.2, got banshee 1.2 installed and imported my media, patched the 10-usb-music-players.fdi file, and rebooted...

I opened TunesRemote on the G1 and typed in my lan ip, put in a code and hit connect but nothing ever happens in banshee...it just sits there and keeps trying to download album art...I try to cancel the album art fetching but it won't stop...I have no idea if that is why it won't work but other than that I think I'm out of ideas...I'm going to head over to that link again but was wondering if you had any issues like that...thanks...

Sandy said...

@david: Not sure why you bring up TunesRemote...that will definitely not work in Banshee and it has nothing to do with syncing your music with it.

Most modern distros will automatically mount your G1 when you plug it into your computer. With the patched FDI file, it should be recognized as a media player. Then, when you launch Banshee, the G1 should show up in the side just like in my screenshot, and you should be able to sync your media.

MAKE SURE YOU EJECT/UNMOUNT YOUR PHONE BEFORE UNPLUGGING IT.

David said...

I read somewhere that using Banshee, as it is DAAP compiant, I can use TunesRemote on the G1 to play music from my collection...it is possible that is what I WANTED to read but that's not what the article said at all...

Well I plugged it in anyway and Banshee didn't recognize it...I was really hoping for a streaming music solution for the G1 but I guess this is not it...I have faith it will come in the near future though...

Thanks for all the help, sorry for my misguided questions...

David said...

http://dacp.jsharkey.org/

^ I think that this is the link that led me to believe I could stream to the G1...